The Gift of Reading


Nooks and Kindles are great, but nothing beats seeing my kids curled up with a good old-fashioned book!

“Let us remember: one book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world." — Malala Yousafzei

Growing up with dyslexia was a challenge but what I most clearly remember are the successes. I attribute much of this to my dad’s dedication to my education and reading skills. My dad was a career Air Force Officer and we traveled the world in my early years. When I was only a year old, we left the US to spend 5 years in Brazil. I attended a Brazilian kindergarten and our nanny didn’t speak English so it was only natural that I couldn’t speak my native language until coming stateside to Alabama when I was 6. Kids made fun of me in first grade as I struggled to count and recite the alphabet in English.

With the exception of deployments, my dad worked tirelessly with me in the evenings and the weekends so I wouldn’t fall behind. I remember reading together in his study, frustrated and crying at first, but as time went by I cherished these times. My early experience and diagnosis of dyslexia ignited determination to overcome my learning hurdles and exceeded class requirements. It also made me passionate about reading and inspired my desire to help others grow their love of reading.

My daughter (with me and my dad) receiving an award for best all-around effort in her first grade class.

Since my children were born, I’ve made a point to read with them each day. Luckily, my seven-year-old daughter shares my love for reading. My six-year-old son is just beginning his journey into the literary world. With his non-stop activity level, its taking more coaching and patience. I’m hopeful, with time and dedication, he will come to love reading as well bringing the cycle of education full circle within our family. I also want to teach him what my dad taught me - to love and treat books with respect and let them expand the horizons of thought within the mind.

My passion for reading makes SAS’s focus for #GivingTuesday a very personal one. To support this global giving movement, SAS is once again collecting children’s book donations. Making sure children have access to books and the opportunity to read gives them a better chance of success in school which is vital to our future. I know firsthand how difficult it can be to struggle in school. My dad pushed and encouraged me to kept me moving forward which opened a new world to me - a world full of endless possibilities.

"The things I want to know are in books. My best friend is the man who'll get me a book I [haven't] read." — Abraham Lincoln

I hope that you will aid in our effort to supply books to children who may not otherwise have access to them. Recognizing our possible impact and acting on it may inspire a love of reading in our children. Do you know someone struggling with reading you could help? Struggling with reading that can follow children into adulthood. Please consider reading to a child or a classroom. Or, keep the love of reading alive by reading to an elderly person or someone who can’t see well enough to read. Please consider supporting SAS’s #GivingTuesday efforts by donating new or gently used children’s books. SAS Employees may drop off donations at the RFC, Buildings G and GX, November 15 – December 2 or at the Picnic Shelter on December 3. Books collected will be donated to several organizations and just may spark another lifelong lover of books! Not a SAS Employee? Look for opportunities to donate in your community like Wake Up and Read, Read and Feed (Wake County, NC), Book Harvest (Durham, NC), and Chatham Reads (Chatham County, NC.)

"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go." — Dr. Seuss

Read more about #GivingTuesday at SAS: A Time of Giving



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Senior Manager, Recreation and Fitness

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